I was out in Southern California visiting my “little” sister for her 40th birthday two weekends ago, and as usual after a few cocktails out on the patio, the conversation amongst us siblings devolved into quoting lines from our favorite movies. (This is a source of constant bemusement bordering on irritation for our spouses, who for some reason aren’t into it)
Our favorite quotables include Ghostbusters (You’re right, Ray, no – human – would stack books this way), Weird Science (just let me know if you’re going to float an air biscuit), and of course, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, which as EVERYONE knows is the source of the Alamo quote that I used as my title.
We had a lot of fun as always. I was telling the story to my kids when I got home and my youngest, who’s 7, chimed in and told me emphatically – “if it doesn’t have a basement Daddy, then you can’t buy it!”
I was a little surprised and I had no idea what she was talking about. Then she reminded me that “we don’t buy houses without basements!”
And she was right!
One of my primary criteria for selecting a property to buy and hold as a rental here in the metro area is a basement. And it happens to be only one of four criteria that is a non-negotiable deal breaker when it comes to my analysis.
Because families need basements to store all of their stuff. Because kids need a place to play indoors during the winter and also during the rainy spring days. And because sometimes we just need our space during long cold winters when we’re cooped up inside.
So a basement is critical.
Basements attract families. Families with kids. And in my experience families with kids are the most stable tenants that you can find. And if these folks have a basement to fill up with junk, then they’re that much more unlikely to move, because they’d have to move all of their junk to another basement somewhere else.
So to me a basement is a lure – a lure to catch what I call a “permanent renter”. And once they’re in, a basement serves as an anchor to keep them there.